First-date red flags that this guy isn’t for you

He’s pleasant and cordial. However, there are red flags that make you cautious. Some by themselves are deal breakers (he drinks too much), while others have the cumulative effect of “I’m going to pass on this guy.” For each woman the red flags she notices will be different. Here are some of mine:

  • He talks too much. He doesn’t ask you a question, except perhaps a trite one like “Tell me about yourself.” Or, as a recent date kept asking, “So, how are you?” The same as I was 5 minutes ago, but getting more turned off each time you ask!
  • He has poor manners. He interrupts frequently, orders first, eats non-finger-food with his hands in a nice restaurant, walks ahead of you, doesn’t open doors.
  • He’s poorly dressed for the activity. He shows up in badly wrinkled shirts or slacks, rips in clothing, poorly kept, unpolished, or filthy shoes, ill-fitting clothes (too big, too small), hair disheveled or dirty, or shorts for a white-tablecloth dinner. While most guys are not clothes horses, they should at least be clean and neat.
  • He has trouble keeping eye contact, seems distracted by nearly everything around him. If he’s having this much trouble staying focused, guess what? He’ll have trouble staying focused on you in the relationship. Inattention plays out in other ways in a relationship, but I’ve seen the signs from the beginning with inability to stay focused in the conversation.
  • He’s condescending to service staff. He is snotty to the waiter, snaps at the clerk, is arrogant with the ticket taker or valet. He doesn’t have to act like they are his best friends, but needs to be pleasant and cordial to everyone he interacts with.
  • He seems paranoid and negative. He goes off on how all corporations are colluding to screw consumers, the government reads everyone’s email and listens to every phone call, etc. He makes broad negative generalizations about people, women, government, etc. He gets irritated at life’s common mishaps of traffic, lines, rude behavior, high prices. Life is too short to be listening to someone’s frequent rants.
  • He gets sexual way too early. He tries to French kiss within minutes of meeting you, has his hand on your thigh, talks about how he wants to make love to you in various locations/positions, rubs his body inappropriately on yours, gropes you, at the end of the date he suggests he come home with you or you with him.
  • He complains about the women from past relationships. Or focuses on bad-date stories. He’s got an ax to grind and issues with women. You don’t want to be the one to try to get him to see there are lots of good women out there.

The bottom line is to be aware of the times you feel disappointed with his self-focus, inattention to you, disrespect, or boorish behavior. You can’t build a relationship on a foundation of disappointment. You may think other attributes will make up for these disappointments, but while many of them are changeable, do you really want a fix-up-project man?

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8 Comments on “First-date red flags that this guy isn’t for you”

  1. […] In “First-date red flags that this guy isn’t for you” I talked about what men do that tell you he should be released back into the dating pool. But I’ve been curious what women do that make a man say, “She’s not for me.” Of course, everyone has their individual deal breakers, so I interviewed a few single guy pals to see if there were some common behaviors that drove them batty. Here’s what I gleaned. […]

  2. mimi Says:

    excellent list. and the last para is one of the most sensible things I’ve ever read about dating and relationships. And if a person (woman or man) is over 40, I tend to think they’ve decided they like their idiosyncracies (or faults) and I don’t want someone who I think needs to CHANGE for me to like them.

  3. sb Says:

    I think I have been this person at one time or another – I dont know how to avoid it. Sometimes life gets so depressing for such a long time that it’s difficult to pull yourself out. Day in and Day out without any love or affection – You forget what it means to be happy. You give up on a lot of things. Yeah it’s red flags and in a selfish world i guess it’s better to dump the guy who needs you the most for your own sake. I really can’t argue with that logic. Someone has to end up losing. Might as well be guys like me – we’ve already lost so much – what’s a little more? I really dont know why I go on. Is there any reason when you realize you can never be charming because it sounds so fake, that your natural outlook is pessimism, that dissapointment after dissapointment, failure after failure only makes you a pariah. I’ve been alone for 15 years. I dont see anyone anymore. I desperately want someone in my life but its been so long…I don’t know how to get myself out of this. I prayed so many times for God to take me away. To do something, anything to erase me short of suicide. I cant do that, not when i know there a people children worse off than me – it would dishonor them. I wish I could erase the past 15 years from my memory and start fresh. But I cant. I dont know what to do. I have nothing. I have no one. what do i do?

  4. […] “First-date red flags that this guy isn’t for you” I talked about what men do that tell you he should be released back into the dating pool. […]

  5. […] I talked about a few more that are apparent on the first date in “Women’s first-date blunders” and “First-date red flags that this guy isn’t for you.” […]

  6. […] Signs he’s not for you: “First-date red flags that this guy isn’t for you“ […]

  7. […] And even the less-than-stellar dates — and the very few bad dates — had a lesson attached. From one, the posting “Signs he won’t be asking for a second date” was spawned, which is one of my most looked at entries. Even “Date was a losing bet” birthed a funny story which amuses my friends and was a good lesson for me and others. Many first dates end in ambivalence, thus a posting on that. And I’ve learned to spot deal breakers quickly, so wrote “First-date red flags that this guy isn’t for you.” […]

  8. […] So know that you most likely will have to meet a lot of guys who on paper (in their profile and email) and on the phone seem like they’d be a good match. But when you meet, something critical is missing. (See my observations on this in “Signs that he won’t be asking for a second date” and “First-date red flags that this guy isn’t for you.”) […]

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